Do you need a DOT physical but are feeling worried about the process? At MyNP Professionals in .in Brown Deer, Wisconsin, Dr. Rosalyn McFarland and Dr. Clarissa Lawrence are here to help.
If you’re a commercial driver who operates a vehicle that may impact your safety or the safety of others, a DOT physical exam by a licensed medical examiner is required. You’ll need to meet health standards set by the FMCSA (Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration) and be retested every 24 months.
Our practice offers DOT physicals to commercial drivers, and we’ve curated this guide to help you better understand how to prepare for your DOT physical. Read on to learn more!
How to prepare for your DOT physical
Many rules and regulations govern the guidelines regarding your mental and physical ability to drive a commercial vehicle. It’s helpful to read these before your DOT physical so you can prepare and know what to expect during your appointment.
Most employers provide this information, but you can also read it online by visiting the FMCSA website. Reviewing this information in advance can help prepare you for what to expect during the exam.
If you have a chronic condition, like diabetes, heart disease, or hypertension, be sure to schedule a visit to your managing physician before your DOT physical. This gives you time to adjust your diet, physical activity, and medications if needed and ensure your condition is under control.
For any medical condition that might affect your ability to drive, the DOT requires documentation that you’re under the care of a medical professional. A visit to this provider ensures you have all the necessary paperwork before your physical exam.
Before your physical:
- Reduce your salt intake! To help lower your blood pressure, cut back on salt for the week leading up to your appointment.
- Watch what you drink! Eliminate or reduce your consumption of caffeine and energy drinks for at least 24 hours before your physical to help your blood pressure meet guidelines and improve your baseline health.
- Say no to tobacco! Quitting tobacco is the best option. If you can’t quit right now, don’t use tobacco products 24-48 hours before your exam to lower your blood pressure.
- Manage stress! Stress can increase blood pressure. To keep stress at bay, gather all of the paperwork you need ahead of time and book extra travel time to your appointment just in case.
- Get plenty of sleep! For the week leading up to your appointment, be sure to get plenty of rest, so your body is in top condition for your DOT physical.
The day of your appointment:
- Take any regular medications as prescribed.
- Avoid eating a large meal before your physical.
- Drink plenty of water so you can provide the required urine sample.
Bring with you:
You’ll need to provide a list of medications along with your medical history. Be sure to gather that information and bring it on the day of your exam.
Remember that medical documentation is required for pre-existing conditions, so be sure to have that well in advance. Here is a list of conditions that necessitate additional paperwork:
- Heart-related issues: Bring a letter from your cardiologist with an overview of your condition and the medications you take. If you've had a heart attack or heart surgery, you'll bring a copy of your most recent stress test.
- Diabetes and high blood pressure: Bring a list of all current medications, dosage information, and contact information for your managing doctor.
- Mental illness: Bring a list of all medications and a letter with your treating doctor’s medical opinion.
- Sleep apnea: Bring copies of the report from your most recent sleep study. If you have a CPAP, bring it along with your compliance letter.
How can I learn more about preparing for my DOT physical?
The DOT physical is a mandatory exam that can only be conducted by a licensed medical examiner, like the practitioners at MyNP Professionals.
To learn more about preparing for your DOT physical or are ready to schedule, schedule an appointment at MyNP Professionals.